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Vail Valley Paragliding Tandem Adventures
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Owner description: Our professional tandem paragliding instructors will give you a birds eye view of the beautiful Vail Valley. Leave the flying to us, while you document your flight with our digitial cameras. Ages 8 to 80 are invited to enjoy a para-taxi glide 1,500 feet into the valley below. No jumping or falling. Visit our website to view a video clip of a sample tandem launch.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Don't let fear rob you of a great adventure-Dave, Tom and Darren took great care of us...Sure it's a little intimidating it's not everyday you jump off a mountain...but the guy's explain everything they are doing, and once in the air everything else fades away-your flyin!
Thanks again guy's you made our trip. We will see you again....Jerry & Katie Baker

1  Thank jbaker3211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 - 14 of 21 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2013

Owner Dave and pilot Kris were so patient in explaining everything to this first-time senior glider. I hadn't ever considered doing this but decided to try it. Things went smoothly even after the aborted attempt due to the breeze dropping at the last minute. The flight gliding down 1500 feet seemed so short - I could have stayed up there twice as long. That early morning flight gave me an adrenalin rush that lasted all day long. I couldn't stop smiling. My children back home were impressed that I'd done this - and my grandson was extremely impressed.

2  Thank Sharon9400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Many problems with this group. The web site says that the flights are 15-30 minutes. In reality if you do the 7:45 flight your flight will probably be under 10 minutes. They overbook reservations. On the day we attempted to do this activity 7 people were left who were unable to fly. They claimed it was the weather and the weather was a factor. But if they had done the 3 sets of flights they had planned to do there would have still been 3 people who didn't get to fly. We showed up at 8:45, as instructed. We waited until 11:30 when they told us that they couldn't do any more flights and that if we wanted to, we could come back the next day. We then had to wait to be shuttled back down the mountain. A half day of our vacation was wasted sitting and waiting for something that never happened.

2  Thank Buckley1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HappyWorldTraveler10, Owner at Vail Valley Paragliding Tandem Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2013

You can lead the Blind to the light if they allow you, but you cannot make them see.

In the United States Tandem Paragliding is allowed in the context of instruction and is not intended to be simple entertainment. It’s not a concession ride that is done for you or happens to you. IT doesn't begin and end at a specific moment. It requires the desire and ability to participate and come away with education of how it all works and reap its rewards.

In addition to standard ultralight aircraft waivers each participant agrees to a student – instructor relationship in a Pre-Paid 30 Day United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Membership Form. Our instructors, and in fact our entire community, is passionate about the sport and will bend over backwards to share knowledge and resources; and delights when someone has a safe and rewarding experience.

Vail Valley Paragliding had 4 Tandem Instructors available on this day and only booked one student to work with each instructor during an anticipated time allotted. A 7:45am round followed by a 9:00am round of 4 was scheduled based on anticipated favorable weather forecasts. Each round was encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early to allow for the leisurely review and completion of the required waivers available also on the website. This reviewer’s statement that we overbook reservations has NO basis in fact.

Please note the additional misrepresented statement of this reviewer as our website makes NO specific claims as to the specific length of any of its flights. We can generalize that the early morning flights are typically shorter and smoother and more predictable than later morning and afternoon flights. We'd be happy to explain.

Bellyache Ridge, where this incident occurred, is our morning site and faces in the opposite direction of the typically westerly prevailing winds. Morning winds that are favorable for this site include cool air flowing down from the continental divide to the east (katabatic winds) and the warmth of the low attitude of the rising sun heating the slopes in front of launch. Eventually these factors diminish and prevailing winds cause an unfavorable wind direction to launch a paraglider. Thus a morning site.

We require wind blowing toward us during take-off to help inflate the canopy and create lift. When the winds blow from behind we cannot launch.

On this day unforeseen high cirrus clouds obscured the sunshine on such a great scale that the normal heating did not take place. In the absence of the warming the cold breezes also do not blow as predictably. Winds were shutdown, light and variable which meant it was only appropriate for lighter student passengers.

Safely launching an individual of 200 pounds, as in this case, is not practical in the absence of a consistent breeze unless this individual is committed, confident, knowledgeable and athletic. These conditions did not present themselves on this morning and eventually blew over the back which was apparent to the tandem instructors as well as the local community of solo paragliders who also agreed it was over for the morning and returned to the cars.

These issues are routine to our sport and may not be immediate apparent to a layperson as if it were to start to rain or thunderstorm. Nonetheless, these are factors caused by weather.

This reviewing couple were the only students not to fly, not seven, as misrepresented by this reviewer. All others who agreed not to fly were individuals from our accomplished solo flying community who realized it was not safe to attempt a launch.

Two parents who had come out to watch their small son fly, had not been booked for that day, but agreed to come out the following morning and had successful flights. Likewise, another group of two had witnessed what went on and took the cumulative experience and used it as a stepping stone in the process that resulted in successful flights the next morning also.

We occasionally encounter student passengers who had tried to paraglide at some other location, perhaps even a different country, and were unable to fly because of weather. These individuals come away with a positive experience because of the beautiful locations we fly and the reward of seeing the activity in person. This cumulative knowledge, respect for nature, positive attitude and commitment frequently result in the desired reward in a safe and life changing way.

A student passenger who doesn't see the value of this prudent attitude toward such a potentially dangerous activity in non-favorable conditions not only puts themselves at risk but others.

This reviewer was on site for perhaps than 2.5 hours and not the half a day as described. Surrounded by beautiful nature and myriads of alternative activities possibilities we would have gladly made alternative suggestions if given the opportunity.

Having a successful tandem paragliding experience requires a positive relationship and trust between the student and instructor and the undivided participation and consent of the student. The instructor is not anxious to get hurt either.

This reviewer held on to a persistent and pessimistic mind set, and although her spouse was receptive and friendly, she forced her misplaced and unfounded views on others, who would have normally sought to assist her.

I’ve always believed that everyone should find a time in their life’s walk to include the awesome experience of flying free with the birds in a beautiful natural environment.

The freedom, the joy and the reward.

I’ll always believe that...

It’s just more apparent for me today that for some it might be a longer process.

I’m humbled and elated that I can share this experience with others. I stand by our decisions and am proud to count myself among the few who can spread the word.

I’m deeply hurt by this reviewer’s suspiciously dark statements, but not discouraged.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

These guys are awesome!
This was a major item on my bucket list that I was able to cross off, and these guys made it super easy. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, but as soon as arrived David, the instructor, explained how smooth everything was going to work. He was an incredible teacher, and I felt super comfortable.
And then the feeling of flying was amazing! To literally be up in the sky with the birds is one of the most amazing feelings in the world!
If you are in the Vail/Beaver Creek area, you have to connect with these guys.

2  Thank Bacspinner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013 via mobile

I called david before I came out and he let us knowwhat day would be great. He was amazingly awesome at knowledge of the winds and weather! It was just an unbelievable experience! I just wish it lasted longer. I really hope to do this again. He also pointed us to a great lunch place afterwards.

2  Thank Misty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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